Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Sleeping Beauty Cave


Garden Castle Wilderness Area

This huge cave is only 4 km from the Garden Castle entry point, but some 240 metres above it.  The walk up to the cave is thus quite strenuous, but passes through a beautiful valley with many interesting rock features and some lovely pools.  It is within walking distance from the Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and consequently it is often visited by day trippers.  The cave can provide a convenient base from which to explore Walker's Pass, and it is relatively easy to get to Hidden Valley via one of the spurs to the south of the cave, although the lower route via the Giant's Cup Trail is far easier.

Across the valley from the cave, and slightly further upstream, is another small cave we have chosen to call Sleeping Beauty Cave Annex.  This is quite difficult to reach, but may offer a warmer alternative to the main cave, although it can only accommodate about 4 hikers.  Engagement Cave is still a better option.

Co-ordinates (WGS84 / dd mm.mmm):

S29 44.955 E29 10.587 at 2237 metres


Accommodation: 12

Sleeping Beauty Cave is astoundingly large, with a high roof, some large flat areas for sleeping, numerous boulders and rock outcrops, and even a stream which passes through it.  The main entry side is mostly enclosed by large blocks of rock which have fallen from the cliff face, thus imparting a "real cave" feel which is only compromised when you look down the valley.


The main sleeping area is fairly level and smooth, but can become damp.  There are several other areas to sleep, but these are more exposed.  With day trippers visiting the cave quite often, don't expect much privacy!


The main stream passes right through the cave, and this can provide all of your needs so long as no one muddies the water.  In winter the stream may dry up completely, but you should be able to find water lower down the valley where several other small tributaries enter it.


There are several small pools in the vicinity of the cave, and in summer one can wash off the day's sweat below a little waterfall inside the cave itself.  The best pools are to be found lower down the valley, on the route up to the cave.


The main sleeping area is very sheltered since it is tucked against the back wall in the furthest reaches of the cave.  The large blocks of rock near the main entrance prevent the wind from getting under the overhang.  However, no sun reaches into the cave, making it particularly cold, especially in winter.


Due to its "real cave" features, there is not much of a view to be seen from inside except for a small part of the valley below.  However, if you venture further up the valley towards Engagement Cave, you will find yourself in a wonderful little secluded section.  A short climb up one of the sides of this section will provide some fine views of the escarpment in clear weather.


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Last updated: 2009-08-18 10:38:52 | Report Listing Report Listing
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